Packing Anti-cancer Agents within Albumin Boosts Combo Therapy Effectiveness Against Prostate Cancer, Study Shows

Packing Anti-cancer Agents within Albumin Boosts Combo Therapy Effectiveness Against Prostate Cancer, Study Shows
Combinations of certain anti-cancer therapies are more effective against castration-resistant prostate cancer if the drugs are packed within serum albumin, the most abundant protein in blood plasma, a new study shows. The study, "Self-assembled albumin nanoparticles for combination therapy in prostate cancer," was published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine. Although several treatments are available for prostate cancer, most cases develop resistance to treatment after several therapeutic cycles. This results in poor prognosis and low survival rates. Combining chemotherapy with two therapies that use radiation of a specific wavelength to activate drugs (photothermal and photodynamic therapy, or PTT/PDT) has proven to be successful in anti-cancer treatment. The agents used in this combination therapy, however, are limited by two main drawbacks: they are hydrophobic (not soluble in water) and easily eliminated from the body. One way to enhance the water solubility of hydrophobic drugs is to encapsulate them within human serum albumin (HSA). This is a safe and efficient strategy, since HSA is normally present in blood. Researchers at the Medical School of Nanjing University in China developed a system using HSA to deliver the PTT/PDT agent, IR780 (a near-infrared dye), and the chemotherapy agent,
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